A Quick Glance Back:
The Wildcats only marched out three upperclassmen, including senior team captain Erin Muirhead, along with juniors Aubrey Taylor and Jamie Holton. Sophomores Karin Wurm and Danielle Hicks performed beyond their years, becoming two of the most consistent scorers on the team. The club also got significant contributions from newcomers, most notably Alexis Greene, Briana Bergeson and Bree Workman.
Once it was all said and done, the Wildcats found themselves in familiar territory: amongst the nation's Top 20 teams throughout the year and in the postseason for the 20th-consecutive year.
Arizona Head Coach: Bill Ryden completed his eighth season at the helm of the
Century Mark: With the Wildcats’ three team victories on March 10,
The Streak Continues:
Learning Experience: The 2006 National Championships in
|Karin Wurm and Aubrey Taylor both competed individually at the NCAA Championships in Corvallis, Ore.|
during Session I. On beam, Wurm earned a 9.800, to finish tied for ninth overall. Her top score came on floor, where she tallied a 9.825 to share 17th-place. Wurm also turned in an impressive bar set, posting a 9.775 to tie for 19th. She began the meet on vault, where she scored a 9.625.
During Session II, her teammate Aubrey Taylor turned in a 9.800, good enough to place tied for 17th overall. While neither qualified for the event finals, both gained valuable experience to bring back and use while trying to lead the team to the National Championships in
Road Rules: The 2006 season was one to remember for the Wildcats, not just for their success in the gym, but for the sights they saw along the way. The club logged five trips over 2,000 miles (round-trip) throughout the year, and started the season on the road for three straight weeks, and five of the first seven. The team traveled significant miles to
The Wildcats kicked off 2006 in Cancun, Mexico, at the Cancun Gymnastics Classic.
Home Sweet Home: In five homes meets,
Terrific Trio: Over the course of the season, 152 of
Three’s a Crowd: It’s not often a school gets three Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honors in one season, let alone by three different gymnasts. But that’s exactly what the Wildcats did this season as Aubrey Taylor, Jamie Holton and Karin Wurm each received recognition from league office for their performances. Taylor, a junior, earned her award following her second career all-around title, which she collected at
Small Change, Big Difference : Looking to create a spark in the team’s vault lineup, head coach Bill Ryden inserted Jamie Holton into the vault lineup for the first time on the season at Stanford on Feb. 17. The 5-5 junior turned in a then-career high 9.825, but shattered that record two weeks later with a 9.925. In seven vault appearances on the year, Holton never scored below a 9.75, and led the squad with a 9.843 average in the event. After Holton’s emergence into the vault lineup, the Wildcats averaged a team score of 48.925 over the last seven meets. In the previous six meets, the club averaged 48.679 in the event.
Jamie Holton emerged as a key contributor on vault, beam and floor.
Nice Company: With her first-place score of 9.925 on the vault on March 3, junior Jamie Holton etched her name in the school’s all-time record book. The mark, which shattered her previous career-high of 9.825 set just two weeks prior, ranks tied for 10th all-time in the event at Arizona.
Streak Snapped: On March 3, sophomore Danielle Hicks was held out of the vault lineup for the first time since Feb. 4, 2005, ending her streak of all-around appearances at 14. Hicks again missed out on the all-around the following week on March 10, but did score a 9.825 on floor to help
Not So Fast: Two of the Wildcats’ victories came against teams that
The Wildcats also reversed a troubling trend at home against a Top 10 UCLA squad. Karin Wurm placed third in the all-around, and Jamie Holton competed in three events for the second time in her career, earning a 9.925 on vault, to help the Wildcats upset the Bruins. The win was not only the first of the year over a Top 10 team for Arizona, but also only the fourth victory over UCLA in the program’s history.
Steady Improvement: The Wildcats got off to a shaky start on the beam in 2006, but turned things around once the youthful lineup got some confidence, despite beginning the year with only two beam workers with prior competitive experience. After posting a season-low 47.350 in the second meet of the year at Penn State and falling out of the national Top 25 in the event, Arizona then climbed all the way up to No. 17 in the event by the end of the year. The Wildcats scored a 48.8 or better in six of the last nine meets, including a 48.925 at the North Central Regional.
Instant Impact: The Wildcats called upon five freshmen to play integral roles this season. Alexis Greene was a regular in three events and won four floor titles. Briana Bergeson held a team-best 9.900 on beam and won two titles in the event. Bree Workman anchored the Wildcats’ vault lineup throughout the year, capturing three titles while placing in the Top 5 two other times. Greene competed in three events in all but three meets this season and has won four floor titles to go along with one vault title. Bergeson competed on beam and bars in every meet, and also performed her first-career floor routine at the NCAA Regionals. Suzanne Alvey and Sarah Parsons both competed in the bars lineup, with Parson claiming one Top-5 finish. Alvey also performed once on vault.
Star in the Making: Freshman Alexis Greene wasted no time in making a significant impact in the Wildcat lineup. The 5-5 native of
Briana 'Beamer' Bergeson and Alexis Greene on KLPX radio in Tucson.
Beamer on Beam: Freshman Briana Bergeson, known better by her teammates as ?'Beamer,’ quickly became one of the Wildcats’ top scorers on the balance beam. Throughout the year, she scored a 9.8 or better seven times, best on the team. In three consecutive meets, she bested her career-high and placed no lower than second in those meets. At
Workman-like Vaulter: Freshman Bree Workman became one of the Wildcats’ top vaulters this season. She ranked second on the team in scoring average until the final meet of the year, behind junior Jamie Holton, and finished with an average of 9.738. Against
All or Nothing: When Alexis Greene and Bree Workman were on, they were really on. Greene recorded six Top 5 finishes on floor, and captured the title in four of those meets. Workman on the other hand, finished in the Top 5 five times on vault, taking home the title three times. Coincidentally, both also seem to have career nights the same night Karin Wurm captures titles. In two of the four meets Greene has won on floor, she has shared the title with Wurm. Likewise, Workman has shared two of her three vault titles with the sophomore all-arounder.
Facing the Best: Over the course of the season,
Stacked Pac: The Pac-10 was once again one of the toughest conferences in 2007, as five of the seven league squads qualified for the postseason. Stanford won the Pac-10 title, but
Danielle Hicks, who competed in the all-around 11 times, earned academic All-Pac-10 accolades.
Academic Cats: Four Wildcats received praise for their performance in the classroom in addition to their efforts in the gym. Karin Wurm was named Pac-10 First Team All-Academic and also was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII at-large second team for her academic and athletic performances in her two seasons as a Wildcat. Aubrey Taylor, Danielle Hicks and Rachelle Silberg each received honorable mention accolades on the Pac-10 All-Academic team.
Future Cats: Last November, head coach Bill Ryden announced the signing of three student-athletes who inked their names to National Letters of Intent to come to
Undergraduate Assistant Coach Jessamyn Salter and senior Erin Muirhead leave the program on track for big things in the future.
A Look Ahead: The Wildcats will return 13 of the 14 gymnasts from the 2006 roster in 2007. Aubrey Taylor and Jamie Holton will take over as the senior leaders, while Karin Wurm and Danielle Hicks will also provide upperclass leadership. Last year’s freshmen now have a year of competitive experience under their belts and will be counted on to continue their improvement and make even larger impacts in 2007. While the incoming freshmen class may not be relied upon to provide the immediate impact that was needed this past season, they will help to provide much needed depth across the board.
The schedule will once again be a difficult one, but the Pac-10 Championships are up the road in
The 2006 Arizona Wildcats